Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Starring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor
On Boxing Day 2004, Thailand was affected by the world’s worst natural disaster of all time. Hit by the deadliest tsunami ever recorded, it was a prime example of how nature can be merciless & sadistic. A 98 foot tidal wave crushed everything in its path, killing over 230,000 people. This is the true story of one family’s plight after they were separated & swept away. With desperation & death all around them, the family members tried to locate each other knowing they would doubtlessly have to face the inevitable.
This was a very realistic and terrifying movie. The scenes leading up to the tsunami were very effective in highlighting the terror which was fast approaching; the wind blowing, the birds flying away, the vibrations, the look of curiosity on the faces of the holiday makers and then... tragedy. Happiness quickly transformed into horror as people were bewildered by what they saw, whilst some pointlessly tried outrunning death as they were consumed by this freak of nature.
The cast playing the family members were brilliant especially the young children who performed in scenes with shifting emotions such as happiness, terror and desperation. Naomi Watt’s performance reduced many audience members to tears and she was justifiably nominated for an Oscar. Distressing and poignant at times this movie has already amassed US$100 million at the box office and ultimately, it’s a fine tribute to those who perished on that fateful day. JAKE